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8 Yoga Poses to Aid Digestion (Post-Class Relief)

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Yoga is not only beneficial for calming the mind and soothing muscles, but it can also have a positive impact on the digestive system. Valerie Lucas, a registered yoga teacher, explains that many yoga students experience effects on the GI tract, which is completely normal and natural. Some people even find that yoga helps with constipation. While there is not a lot of research on this topic, a small 2014 study found that young adults with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) reported improvements in constipation after taking yoga classes for six weeks.

Dr. Jill Deutsch, director of the Yale Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Program, believes that the benefits of yoga for digestion may be attributed to a combination of movement and breath work. Movement in general can speed up gut motility, helping waste move through the GI tract more efficiently. Additionally, twisting poses and poses that involve folding or bending forward can stimulate movement through the GI tract, improving overall gut health and function.

While there is no specific yoga pose that is recommended for gut health, practitioners and teachers in ayurvedic medicine suggest that twisting poses and poses that involve folding or bending forward can be helpful. These movements can gently compress and release the stomach and colon, providing an internal massage that helps with digestion. It is not uncommon to hear the occasional flatulence in a yoga class, as the poses are designed to aid in moving things along in the digestive system.

If you are dealing with constipation or other digestive issues, incorporating yoga into your routine may be beneficial. By practicing twisting poses and poses that involve folding or bending forward, you can stimulate movement in the GI tract and improve overall gut health. While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of yoga on digestion, many people find that it helps alleviate symptoms of constipation and other digestive issues. Next time you are feeling a little backed up, consider trying some yoga poses to get things moving.

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